Military credit


Q. Can you explain in laymen terms about this or refer me to where I can find out more info? I have retired from active duty 20 years with disability pay. I now work as a DA civilian. I am 39. So do I count the 20 years plus my civilian years towards retirement? i.e. 20 years active duty plus 10 yrs CIV= 30 years total fed service at age 59.  I earn four hours of leave time per pay period. When do I qualify for an increase in leave hours? If I opt for buying back time, will this hurt me if I decide to do lump sum? I’m not sure how the percentage works since I have 20 years active duty served.

A. With rare exception, to get credit for your active-duty service in determining your years of service, your leave accrual rate, and your annuity computation, you would have to make a deposit to the civilian retirement system and waive your military retired pay. The only exceptions for leave accrual are 1) if your military retired pay was granted for actual service during a war declared by the Congress or while participating in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge was authorized (and then only for that period time) or (2) for all time when your retirement was based on a disability received as a direct result or armed conflict or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty. For retirement purposes, even if you meet one of these exceptions and are allowed to keep your military retired pay, you would still need to make a deposit to the civilian retirement fund.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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